LESLIE: Trish in Reno, Nevada is dealing with a leaky roof. Tell us about the problem.
EPDM Rubber Roof
TRISH: Well, my problem is my garage roof and I believe the problem is the material on the roof. I think it has – I just had a new roof put on five years ago but I’m out in the sun in Reno a lot – the roof is – and someone had told me that walking on the roof probably also broke the material down and it’s just leaking straight through. Because there’s no rips and tears anywhere and I can’t figure out where the leak is.
TOM: (overlapping voices) That could do it. Yeah. OK, what kind of roofing material is it?
TRISH: Well, it’s – right now, it’s tar paper or – let’s see; what do I want to say?
TOM: Is it a roll? Is it roll roofing?
TRISH: It’s a roll. It’s rolled on and then it’s sealed with something …
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. At the – at seams?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Around the edges.
TOM: Yeah. Trish, probably the best roofing solution for your particular situation is a rubber roof. It’s known as an EPDM roof and …
TOM: Yes, EPDM. But the rubber roofs, they’ve been used for many, many years. They’re extremely durable. And most importantly, though, when you go on that roof to do the roof maintenance on the upper roof, I want you to lay down some boards. I don’t want you to walk directly on the roof.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Lay down some small pieces of plywood …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Need something to spread out the force of your weight.
TRISH: I see.
TOM: This way, your heel’s not pressing down into one soft place and causing a crack. The rubber is going to be a lot more flexible, so it’s not likely to crack. The roll roofing that you have right now can crack by looking at it crooked, you know?
TOM: But if you use a rubber roofing product the next time around, I think you can get a roof that lasts a lot longer and it’s going to be a little more durable when you have to go up there to seal up the roof above it.
LESLIE: Is this a project you’re thinking about doing yourself?
TRISH: I’m doing it myself, yes.
LESLIE: There is an excellent online site; it’s called FlatRoofSolutions.com. Because, traditionally, these rubber roofing products have only been done by the pros; but this company really makes it easy to understand. The installation instructions are very comprehensive. Photos, everything you need; they’ll help you order it. And the EPDM that they sell – it’s a Firestone product – comes in 50-foot widths and 100-foot widths so that you can – you know, you really don’t have to worry about seaming, which is another area where a leak could occur.
TRISH: Oh. How nice. Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Trish. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.